Missing the Forest Completely. And Finding It Again.

We went to the mountains this weekend. Peak leaf season has passed, but it was still incredibly beautiful. Peaceful, no. We were in the company of about 10,000 other people, all trying to take advantage of what may be the last warm day of fall.

But while other folks were captivated by this:

A world so big

my heart was captured by this:

So tiny. So precious.

We discovered this very tiny white footed mouse at a very tiny church, which makes him a church mouse, I suppose. His back left foot is injured and useless. He wasn’t as fast as he should be, or as coordinated. But he was giving it a go. And people were rooting for him. Dozens of people who had previously been driving in their own private little bubbles, honking their horns at one another, blocking the entire road for minutes at a time so they could take the perfect picture, came together for this little mouse.

I attempted to herd the little guy under a ledge where he would be safe from a misplaced step. As he scampered away from me, a woman noticed my efforts. He  paused for a moment in the grass, and she squatted beside him to safeguard his rest. He dashed toward another patch of grass out in the open, and someone else gently encouraged him back to safety. Each person whose awareness he touched became a part of the dance.

We’re not fools. None of us believed for a moment that he would even survive the day. He was too injured, too inexperienced to even be afraid of people, and his natural curiosity was bound to lead him in the path of an unsuspecting boot. His insistence on staying in the open made him easy pickings for any predator. We all knew the eventual end. But not on our watch, friends. As long as there were people to stand guard for him, we would.

When it was time for my family to leave the area, there was a new team in place, sharing a common goal, if only for a few minutes.

For a size comparison, that’s the Padawan’s sneaker.

Sometimes I miss the little things. I didn’t this time, and I am glad. Sometimes the little stuff is but a small reflection of a much, much bigger picture. In a world where I sometimes struggle with my significance in the grand scheme, Matthew 10:29-31 takes on a whole new meaning.

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Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31)